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Wed 18 Dec 2013 03:03 PM

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Saudi citizens in 180,000 court cases abroad

Most prominent cases include prince threatening to behead business partner, ‘prostitute’ claiming to be Saudi princess

Saudi citizens in 180,000 court cases abroad

Saudi citizens have been involved in nearly 180,000 legal cases abroad in the past three years, the Foreign Ministry has revealed.

About 12,000 of those cases are ongoing.

“The remaining cases are still being heard in foreign courts. We will do everything we can to solve the problems facing our citizens abroad, so that they can return safely to their homes,” Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal said during a speech at a Saudi conference on Tuesday, as quoted by Arab News.

Prince Al Faisal did not reveal the nature of the court cases.

The most prominent cases published in the media this year include accusations that a Saudi prince threatened to behead his business partner, a woman accused of slavery in the US, another claiming to be a princess on property fraud charges, a Saudi student charged with killing an American bar owner and cases of terrorism.

The Saudi government is believed to have put forward the $2m bond demanded for Ziyad Abid, a 24-year-old Saudi aviation student in Missouri, US, who was charged with hiring his roommate to kill bar owner Blaine Whitworth in September, 2012.

However, he was still refused bail because the judge deemed him a flight risk. He was later cleared of the charges.

Also in the US, a woman described by authorities as a Saudi princess beat a charge of human trafficking earlier this year after she was accused of allegedly forcing another female to unwillingly work as her servant.

Another Saudi woman was accused of being a prostitute while pretending to be a Saudi princess during a UK trial over a $20m London property fraud.

Two London property developers accused the woman of being a fraud after they transferred six luxury London apartments worth £14m ($20.8m) into her name as part of a larger property deal which they believed would be funded by the woman’s family, which is part of the royal family.

Funds for the larger deal failed to materialise and the developers claimed the 30-year old woman refused to return ownership of the six apartments.

In one of the highest profile non-criminal cases involving a Saudi, a businessman from the kingdom successfully won a case in Europe's highest court overturning European Union sanctions based on ‘unjustified’ allegations he was involved in terrorist activities.

Also, on Sunday, two Saudi men kept in Guantanamo Bay for 11 years without charge were released.

NBI 5 years ago

Not surprising!!

The responsible 5 years ago

What's the benefit of such an article!!! Nothing. These incidents happen everywhere so why is the suspense?

Doug 5 years ago

I wonder how many Saudi citizens currently reside abroad....

DNS 5 years ago

I dislike it when Saudis try to pretend they are saints and then complain about expats breaking the law in Saudi Arabia..

Doug 5 years ago

The point is it's news. We are constantly told about how dreadful the Brits are in the UAE and how all they do is apparently commit crimes because they're all appalling libertines with no respect for local culture.

Yet it turns out that actually, the Saudis aren't any better when they go abroad either - in fact, I'd go as far to say that some of the crimes they are accused of are far more serious than a few drunk and stupid Brits. If this news wasn't reported, you'd go round in a bubble of ignorance, assuming everyone in the GCC was perfect and that foreigners were evil and stupid.

Why would you want to be ignorant? Is it perhaps because your view of other nationalities has no basis on reality and it upsets you to find that you're not quite as special or wonderful as you thought you were?

tfg 5 years ago

75% of the Saudi prison population are expats out of a 30% of the total population.

The 1,000,000 recently deported saw a drop in crime by more than 10% compared with the same period last year.

Hisham 5 years ago

What an absurd comparison. Most Saudis in the cases mentioned were targeted because of a business deal gone sour or because they are being blackmailed for money which is why the famous cases all involve some rich Prince or Princess. This is different from Brits and other westerners who go to the Middle East and openly show disrespect for local culture. Not all of them do it, but some definitely do.

Hisham 5 years ago

90% of crimes in Saudi Arabia is committed by expats. Saudis generally do not commit many crimes because of their cultural and moral values

Doug 5 years ago

I don't deny that some Westerners are very disrespectful of Middle Eastern culture.

I would also suggest though that the usual kneejerk reaction in this region to assume that every GCC national is as pure as the driven snow who only ends up in trouble because of wicked Westerners is delusional.

I suppose it was the Westerner's fault that the Saudi guy supposedly killed a barman, and it was the Westerner's fault the Saudi 'princess' got done for fraud, right? Stop blaming all your faults on someone else. The Saudis are no better or worse than anyone else in this world

Mac 5 years ago

Doug's approach is quite acceptable, the only problem he started comparing between nationalities, here I fell he has lost the main objective in respect of" not being ignorant" such a shift makes readers feels that Doug is being myopic. Otherwise the post is quite an argument.